Featured Author Event: Dustin Lance Black (Washington, D.C.)
Colleagues in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. take note: Dustin Lance Black will be discussing his new book, MAMA’S BOY: A Story from Our Americas (Alfred A. Knopf) on Thursday, May 2, at Politics & Prose Bookstore (5015 Connecticut Ave NW). This free event begins at 7:00 p.m.
A heartfelt, deeply personal memoir, MAMA’S BOY explores how a celebrated filmmaker and activist and his conservative Mormon mother built bridges across today’s great divides—and how our stories hold the power to heal.
Mr. Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California’s anti–gay marriage Proposition 8. As an LGBTQ activist, he has unlikely origins—a conservative Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Anne, was raised in rural Louisiana and contracted polio when she was two years old. Willfully defying expectations, she found salvation in an unlikely faith, raised three boys, and escaped the abuse and violence of two questionably devised Mormon marriages before finding love and an improbable career in the U.S. civil service.
By the time Mr. Black came out to his mother at age twenty-one, he was studying the arts instead of going on his Mormon mission. She derided his sexuality as a sinful choice and was terrified for his future. It may seem like theirs was a house destined to be divided, and at times it was. This book shines light on what it took to remain a family despite such division—a journey that stretched from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to the woodsheds of East Texas. In the end, the rifts that have split a nation couldn’t end this relationship that defined and inspired their remarkable lives.
MAMA’S BOY is their story. It’s a story of the noble quest for a plane higher than politics—a story of family, foundations, turmoil, tragedy, elation, and love. It is a story needed now more than ever.
Photo of Dustin Lance Black by Raul Romo.